Apple’s Messages feature that automatically blurs images containing explicit content has now been launched globally, a move that will safeguard children.
After its launch in the US last year, the feature is coming to the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, reports The Verge.
The feature is now coming to the Messages apps on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS for users in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
“Messages now includes tools that warn children and provide helpful resources if they receive or attempt to send photos that may contain nudity,” Apple said in an update.
If Messages detects that a child receives or is attempting to send this type of photo, it blurs the photo before it’s viewed on your child’s device and provides guidance and age-appropriate resources to help them make a safe choice, including contacting someone they trust if they choose.
“Messages uses on-device machine learning to analyze image attachments and determine if a photo appears to contain nudity. The feature is designed so that Apple doesn’t get access to the photos,” said the company.
The communication safety feature requires iOS 15.2 or later, iPadOS 15.2 or later, or macOS Monterey 12.1 or later, and is available to child accounts signed in with their Apple ID and part of a Family Sharing group.
This feature is off by default.
“Messages offers the child several ways to get help-including leaving the conversation, blocking the contact, leaving a group message, and accessing online safety resources-and reassures the child that it’s okay if they don’t want to view the photo or continue the conversation,” said the company.
If the child chooses to view or send the photo, Messages confirms that they’re sure they want to do so and suggests alternatives, again reassuring the child that it’s okay not to participate and that more help is available.